Author Interview: John Shors

Today I’m delighted to bring you an interview with the author of “Beneath a Marble Sky,” John Shors. John, thank you for joining us. It’s a pleasure to have you here. In the reader’s guide included in the novel, you mention that a lot of the book was taken from history, but that you also took liberties with some members of the royal family. Was Jahanara romantically involved with the builder of the Taj Mahal, or was that one of the liberties? Most scholars believe that Jahanara was Isa’s assistant on the Taj Mahal, and she worked with him for … Continue reading

Beneath a Marble Sky – John Shors

“Beneath a Marble Sky” is the first novel for John Shors, but I would not have guessed it. His imagery is stunning, his word choice nearly flawless – I would have credited this book to a much more seasoned novelist. The book is a historical fiction set around the building of the Taj Mahal. We have all heard the story of the king who loved his wife dearly and was heartbroken when she died, and so he created a mausoleum in her memory and caused it to be the most beautiful building on earth. Shors took that kernel of information, … Continue reading

Traitor – Sandra Grey

“Traitor” by new author Sandra Grey is one of the best LDS historical fiction novels I’ve ever read, and I have to tell you, I’m hard to impress. Because I myself write in the LDS historical fiction genre, I’m overly critical when it comes to analyzing the work of other authors. Sandra Grey is amazing. Marie Jacobson is a young woman of French ancestry who wants to do her part for the cause during World War II. Her fiancé, Felix, is working with the Resistance in Europe, and Marie is eager to see him again after a long separation. A … Continue reading

Lady of the Roses – Sandra Worth

I’m a historical fiction junkie anyway, and “Lady of the Roses” was right up my alley. I truly enjoyed this read from a well-versed writer. Fifteen-year-old Isobel is an orphan, and her guardianship has been turned over to Marguerite d’Anjou, the Queen of England and wife to Henry VI. The War of the Roses wages on, with Lancastrians fighting against Yorkists. Isobel sides with the Lancastrians, and she fits in well at court. But when Sir John Neville arrives at court, he turns Isobel’s world upside down. They are instantly drawn toward each other, but he’s a York. Knowing their … Continue reading

Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I hesitated to read it. Several friends had recommended the book, it’s a New York Times Bestseller, and it was on several great books of the year lists. I thought I’d be disappointed. It couldn’t be that good. But it was. The story is told in alternating chapters by Jacob Jankowski as a ninety or maybe ninety-three year old (he’s lost track) and as a twenty-three year old. The young Jacob is close to graduating veterinary school at Cornell. Even though the country is in … Continue reading

Week in Review: December 17th – 23rd

Did you see all the great blogs here in Media Reviews last week? In case you missed them, here’s a recap. In “The Day Before Christmas,” Tristi reviewed the story of a girl who goes to see The Nutcracker ballet with her grandfather, reliving a tradition he had with her own mother, now passed away. This is a touching holiday tale, as is “The Fourth Wise Man,” a picture book retelling of the classic story by Henry Van Dyke. Who will brave the winter blizzard to come out to Christmas services? More people than you might think, as we discover … Continue reading